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4 goals for a new year and a new pastor and a new church [12-30-01]
I waited 31 years, to the day, to become your pastor.
It was all we could do to live our lives in the ministry, and spend 10 years then under other pastors, destiny’s children, waiting for the lord to say the word, “go!”
I’m sure you’re asking the question so many have already been asking me the last few weeks, about what direction we go as a church…since you’re curious, on this first day, let me just tell you…I don’t know!
God answered your prayers and ours and brought us together for such a time as this
He will give me direction…I will follow him by leading you, and you indicated by your vote that you will follow:
When you understand…when you don’t
When you trust me…and when you have to trust the God who sent me to you
When you agree…and when we have to agree to disagree.
This is a great time to go forward! Praise God for how He has taken us forward since that day. Hundreds saved and baptized, hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements, debt free, a missions team that has tripled as has our income and budget. And then there's the gift of God we may never wrap our minds around, the fact that now tens of thousands in ministry use our materials in their churches and schools!
To God be the glory...and yet, this message reminds us...
1 Find some dissatisfaction
ill.--Cruise control/coasting - God isn't pleased!
How many of you really relax as you drive? (I want to die just like grandpa, in my sleep, not screaming like the passengers he was driving!)
For a church to go backward, it doesn’t require people to go backward, just to stand still. Have you found a comfort zone in your spiritual life?
We’re not talking about contentment here
Materialism—Godliness with contentment is great gain
Spiritually—don’t ever be content, satisfied
Here’s the attitude to have: However much I read my Bible in last year, it wasn’t enough (prayed, gave, served, worshipped)
I’m pressing on the upward way…new heights I'm gaining ev’ry day…higher ground!
In 2015 our God will want some to teach/help with kids ministries…
To sit in class another year would be “cruise control” (idling)
(choir, nursery, outreach, witness, attendance)
We could have stayed in MO with a large church, fat salary, nice home, lots of friends…but we would have to coast, we couldn’t go forward.
Why do we get self-satisfied? We compare ourselves to others who are not making good progress. Since when are inferiors our standard?
“comparing yourselves with others is not wise”
We develop a false sense of spirituality when we compare to anyone other than our Savior...and when we do that, we quickly recognize how small we are.
Phil. 3:13—“brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended” (arrived)
No cruise control, put the pedal to the metal
If we’re not careful, we can allow ourselves to get to the point of complacency. (beat down with the woes of life, failures of yesterday)
Pastor pounded the pulpit… “Ignorance and complacency, that’s our problem! You sir, on the front row, do you even know the difference between ignorance and complacency? …
“I don’t know and I don’t care”!
When is a church officially dead, and when can we write Ichabod on the door? When we’ve looked backward so long we can’t find it within ourselves to look up, and look ahead!
find some dissatisfaction...
2. Find some devotion
Phil. 3:13—“but this one thing I do…” (one of the most important phrases)
To the self-righteous rich young ruler, Jesus said, “one thing thou lackest”
To busy Martha, working in the kitchen, criticizing her sister Mary, Jesus said, “one thing is needful.”
Ps. 27:4 David said, “one thing I have desired of the lord.”
Paul said, "This one thing I do"…a statement of devotion
His Christianity was not a sideshow ... not a compartment of his life
A wheel has many spokes, and so do we in our lives:
Work life, school life, hobbies, family life, church life
The spokes have nothing to do with each other
Your church life doesn’t show up at work, on the basketball court, to view your family life at home you’d never dream you also had that church life.
Jesus doesn’t want to be a spoke at all, he wants to be the hub of the wheel, out of which all the spokes grow and connect
Christianity shouldn’t be a compartment of our life, it should BE our life!
We need to trade some commitments of this world for commitment TO our Lord.
We’re too busy these days, it’s McDonald's every Monday, taco Tuesday, work out on Wednesday, tee-ball Thursday, fishing Friday, yard-saleing Saturday,… no wonder we’re sleeping on Sunday!